I guest posted this tutorial on Clothworks blog a couple of months ago. Reposting it here in case you missed it earlier.
I have a love-hate relationship with the peasant dresses. I love how easy they are to sew and I absolutely love how they look on my daughter. However, I hate that the pattern is so difficult to get just right, I mean I can get it to look decent, but getting it perfect is another story...and I'm not really crazy about the elastic at the neckline that seems to be the classic feature of a peasant dress. So there, that is the dilemma I have with peasant dresses. They are too cute and easy to leave them alone and too difficult to sew them all the time. I took them up again recently with some hesitation but also with the resolve to draft the perfect peasant dress pattern. I did something like this earlier also, but at that time I dealt only with knits which are much more forgiving. Here are my earlier versions of peasant dresses for your viewing pleasure.
But this time I got the pattern right at the first go. I can't tell you how cute this simple dress looks on my little one. Maybe my sewing/drafting skills did improve after all...
Anyhow, here's the skinny on how to sew a peasant dress in 12 mos - 18 months size
- Half yard main fabric( I chose Picnic Pals Organic cotton collection by Alyssa Thomas SKU Y 1002-27)
- Half yard coordinating fabric ( I chose Picnic Pals Organic cotton collection by Alyssa Thomas SKU Y 0999-30)
- Elastic thread ( optional)
Pattern: Download the 4 pages free pattern for peasant dress here( 12-18 months). Print on 8.5 x 11 inch paper with Margins set to 0.
Approximate time: 1 hour
Sewing Margin : 3/8 inch on internal seams
1/4 inch on hemlines and neckline
At this point it will be a great idea to try the dress on the child if she is available. For my daughter, the neck was big enough to slip through her head and small enough that it didn't slip off her shoulders. So I just folded the neckline twice on itself and sew a seam along the neckline ( quarter inch margin). But if you find the neckline too big on your child, you could sew a couple of rows of shirring or an elastic to make it just right.
Now sew narrow hems on sleeves and the dress.
Make a pair of matching bloomers (coming soon), or not. The dress is cute either way. A full sleeved stylish dress for the fall!
Visit me at Blooms And Bugs for more free sewing patterns and tutorials for kids clothing ( and mommy's too)